Spelling portion to be eliminated from future GSP tests in JMC

Ben Breier

Professors in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication are working to improve the Grammar, Spelling and Punctuation test by completely eliminating spelling from the test.

“While spelling is important, we believe that journalists can just look up the words,” professor Eileen Everett said. As the GSP is presently written, 33 out of 100 questions on the test pertain to spelling.

The test currently in use is based on a test created by the University of Texas. Everett said many of the sentences on the current test are obviously manipulated to put the grammar or punctuation error into a sentence.

Everett said she is going to make sure the new test is on-par with the original GSP in regards to difficulty.

“We want to make sure that this test is just as hard,” Everett said. “It isn’t getting any easier, we just want better questions.”

Professor Candice Perkins Bowen, who is also the Scholastic Media Coordinator in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, tested the new versio n of the GSP with an honors section of Media Writing last fall. Students in the class took both versions of the test, although only the current version of the GSP counted toward the students’ grades.

“Students thought that the pilot test was easier, but scores were comparable,” Bowen said. “Only a couple of students varied by more than a few points on the tests.”

All 13 students in Bowen’s media writing class passed the new GSP the first time they took it.

When exploring options for the newest version of the test, Bowen said she looked at tests that other colleges were using.

“Why reinvent the wheel if somebody else had a good test?” Bowen said.

Although the test is undergoing big changes, the rules of passing the course will remain unchanged. Students will still need at least a B- to pass the class in addition to earning at least a 70 on the GSP.

With five to six versions of the test still to be created, Everett said the ideal integration for the test will take place next fall.

Contact College of Communication and Information reporter Ben Breier at [email protected].